Six of the Best: Christmas TV

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There is a feast of great tv this Christmas, so get ready to collapse on the sofa and break open that box of chocolates. There will be visits to much loved favourites and a fond farewell to one particular family.

SHERLOCK THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN

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In a twist to the show which has put a Victorian detective hero in a contemporary setting, this one off 90 minute special puts the the famous consulting detective and his trusty side-kick Watson solving a case in 1890’s London. The Abominable Bride, which is a nod to Conan Doyle’s original novel, The Musgrave Ritual, is co written by Sherlock creators Steven Moffatt and Mark Gattis.

Benedict Cumberbatch reprises the lead role which made him a household name with Martin Freeman as his trusty sidekick Watson. Amanda Abbingdon is also back

Shown on New Year’s Day, BBC1, 9pm.

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WE’RE DOOMED - THE DAD’S ARMY STORY

With a feature film ready to hit the big screen in February, fans of the show have an extra treat this Christmas.

A one off comedy drama which charts the making of Dad’s Army has been created by Stephen Russell. Delving deeper into origins and enduring appeal of Jimmy Perry and David Croft’s classic wartime sitcom drama.

A steller cast makes it a gem with stars including Paul Ritter, Julian Sands, Mark Heap and Keith Allen. John Sessions as Arthur Lowe is a particular delight.

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Shown on Dec 22, BBC2 at 9pm

DOCTOR WHO

The Doctor is joined by his time travelling wife, River Song (Alex Kingston) for this festive adventure.

Having lost his companion Clara (Jenna Louise Coleman) the return of River means fans will have to wait until the next series to find out who his next side kick will be. Expect thrills and spills aplenty in this Christmas special which, unlike last year will not have a strong seasonal theme. Comedians Greg Davies (The Inbetweeners) and Matt Lucas (Little Britain) will be adding to the fun.

Shown Christmas Day, BBC1, 5.15pm.

STRICTY COME DANCING CHRISTMAS SPECIAL

The glitterball trophy for 2015 will have been lifted by one of the remaining celebrities but that doesn’t stop a large dollop of Christmas sparkle and sequins being served up on Christmas Day.

Sir Bruce Forsyth returns to the ballroom for hosting duties with Tess Daley and six past winners and competitors will take to the floor. Abbey Clancey, Alison Hammond, Harry Judd, Tom Chambers and People’s Strictly winner Cassidy Little will team up with pro’s Natalie Lowe, Pasha Kovalev, Brendan Cole and Jo Clifton.

Shown Christmas Day, BBC1, 6.15pm.

CALL THE MIDWIFE

The popular show set in 1950s/60s Poplar is back for a Christmas special. Cast regulars including Helen George as Nurse Trixie, Jenny Agutter as Sister Julienne and Stephen McGann as Dr Turner.

This year’s special is a guaranteed post-turkey tear-jerker. It is 1965 and the residents of Nonnatus House are preparing for a festive bus trip to see the lights in Regent Street, and a visit from a BBC TV crew to record a carol concert. But disaster strikes when Sister Monica Joan (Judy Parfitt) goes missing.

Shown Christmas Day, BBC1, 7.30pm.

DOWNTON ABBEY

Not just the Christmas special but our last slice of life at Downton.

The final series ended with a surprise wedding and fans will be hoping a few more loose ends will be tied up in this two hour special. The lives of the Crawley family have taken taken not just England but the world by storm since it was first aired in 2010. Will Anna and Bates finally get their longed for child, will Barrow find a reason to live and will there finally be a happy ending for Lady Edith. Find out as Patricia Hodge joins the cast as Bertie Pelham’s mother. Lily James is also back as Rose.

Shown Christmas Day, ITV, 8.45pm.

STEP BY STEP: Sarah Parish as Elizabeth Bancroft, right, and Faye Marsay as Katherine Stevens in new four-part ITV crime drama Bancroft.

TV preview: Bancroft